From New York Times bestselling author J. Randy Taraborrelli comes the definitive biography of the most enduring icon in popular American culture.
When Marilyn Monroe became famous in the 1950s, the world was told that her mother was either dead or simply not a part of her life. However, that was not true. In fact, her mentally ill mother was very much present in Marilyn's world and the complex family dynamic that unfolded behind the scenes is a story that has never before been told...until now. In this groundbreaking book, Taraborrelli draws complex and sympathetic portraits of the women so influential in the actress' life, including her mother, her foster mother, and her legal guardian. He also reveals, for the first time, the shocking scope of Marilyn's own mental illness, the identity of Marilyn's father and the half-brother she never knew, and new information about her relationship with the Kennedy's-Bobby, Jack, and Pat Kennedy Lawford. Explosive, revelatory, and surprisingly moving, this is the final word on the life of one of the most fascinating and elusive icons of the 20th Century.
Starred Review. After half a century of Marilyn Monroe books, beginning with Maurice Zolotow's interviews of her for his 1960 biography, it's hard to imagine any revelations about the actress, but Taraborrelli--who's written bios of Grace Kelly, Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra--tackles that problem with what he refers to as fresh research. For instance, thanks to files released in 2006 under the Freedom of Information Act, Taraborrelli details the truly extraordinary three-page document in which an unnamed FBI agent described the romance and sex affair between Monroe and RFK. Rather than the usual bibliographic listings, Taraborrelli cites only a few key books. Instead, he itemizes 30 pages of interviews explaining how he contacted sources close to the subject (e.g., approaching Dean Martin in a restaurant; talking with the historians he calls the true experts). In addition to interviews with everyone from Janet Leigh to Secret Service agents, Taraborrelli read the unpublished notes and interviews of reporters from the 1950s. As Taraborrelli brushes away cobwebs of myth and rumor, his remarkable research and fluid writing captures Marilyn's ?lan, sensitivity, desperation and despair with a haunting intimacy. (Aug. 25)
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Grand Central Publishing
August 23, 2009
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